31 July 2011

Pre-Date Jitters

Tonight at midnight it starts.
I'll probably be exhausted out of my mind, but all the better. At least I won't overthink it. The first sentence always gets too much attention anyway.
Yes, sentence. As in words. (And you all thought finally some cute guy asked me out.)
Indeed, it starts tonight -- the rough draft of novel number six. Thirty (one) days to add another novel to my writing experience.
Four of my previous rough drafts were also written in thirty-one days or less. (The first one I started with intent to write it in thirty days but it failed miserably and instead took me a little more than three months. But I did finish it.)
However, this time around I'm more apprehensive than usual. For my previous three novels I nearly went mad waiting for midnight on the first so I could begin to write.
The reason for that being that for those three novels, I had solid plots. The last two especially had a lot of material I could milk for a few thousand more words here and there. However, for this novel I have almost nothing -- two VR chambers, a weapon (as of yet unspecified), and two characters, Lyle and Titus. I don't even have their last names. And half the world needs to die somehow.
'No pressure or anything' says my brain to me.
We'll see about that, brain...
I wonder if I'm under so much pressure from myself because last time I wrote a novel (November 2010) I blew myself away. I hit 50,000 on 20 November and kept going. By the 30th I had managed 247 pages, 74,834 words. On Day 29, I wrote 6,174 words -- a personal daily best.
Coming off a high like that, you put a crazy amount of pressure on yourself to improve at least some of those numbers the next time round when it's insanity to expect that. Even more disheartening is my abysmal showing in Script Frenzy in April -- I managed 103 pages (out of one hundred), but if I didn't love the plot idea I would scrap every one of them.
Then again, I just bought some music yesterday -- maybe that will help things. (Flyleaf's Memento Mori; Lecrae's Rebel; and Relient K's Forget And Not Slow Down, in case you're wondering.)

In case anyone's interested in also writing a 50,000-word (or more) rough draft, join the contest here. You write on your own computer/typewriter/spiral notebook, not the site, but it's always fun to check out how others are doing and they send out pep talks every week or so.
As for time, 50,000 words in one month averages out to 1,667 words per day (assuming a thirty-day month). If you hit a good stride and are a decent typist, this will take you between one and two hours, but I've been known to do it in forty-five minutes.


Anonymous said...

This is great, I just may try that contest. I have been meaning to work on my novel but just haven't been able to get down to business and have been just doing short stories instead.
This post gave me a little kick to get working instead of surfing the internet.
Thank you!

Kate said...

You're very welcome -- I'm glad to hear that it helped.

One thing I recommend though -- don't bring a previously started novel into the contest. It makes it infinitely harder, trust me. I did that once and ended up completely killing the beautiful story I had in my head. Start a new novel from scratch. The contest is more like a warm-up than a pursuit of perfection.

That said, if you want to work on a previously started novel, go ahead, but be forewarned that you'll very likely regret it...

Anonymous said...

Good idea.
The novel I have going now is a rather special one, so I think I will hold it for times when I can really focus.